My father and stepmother have decided to get divorced. They have a five-year-old boy, who takes Adderall for ADHD. My father works at night from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and is home during the day. My stepmother works from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Would split custody or a one-parent household be better for my stepbrother? If it's best that one parent has sole custody, would it be better that he's with the parent or a sitter?
There's no simple answer to this question. Children with ADHD often do better when there's increased consistency and predictability in their lives, so moving from one parent to another on different days can be unsettling. It's even more, unsettling, however, to have less than adequate care from whoever is taking care of him during waking hours. A loving, attentive babysitter can be a wonderful addition to a child's circle or can be a neglectful nightmare if she plops a child down in front of a TV all day.
Your father and stepmother need to sit down together, perhaps with a counselor or psychologist, to lay out all the possibilities for child care and make the best informed decision possible about the care of their son. Whatever decision is made, however, both parents need to have continued input into their child's life. It's important for everyone to remember that your father and stepmother are divorcing each other, but they are not divorcing their child.